Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wetlands Institute~ October visit~All About Bats

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The Friday before last we had our monthly field trip to the Wetlands Institute. This months theme was bats!

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We had a great class with our educator Kaitlin. She is so fun!

We learned that bats are very neat animals and what their purpose is in nature.

  • Did you know that bats pollinate plants? It’s true! Bats that live in tropical areas help to pollinate plants such as that banana you may have had for breakfast!
  • Bats are nocturnal
  • Bats help control the mosquito and bug population. A bat can eat up to 300 bugs an hour!
  • Bats eat bugs that destroy crops
  • Less than 3% of the bat population carry rabies.
  • Bats hibernate in the winter months
  • There are no vampire bats in the united states. They live in South America
  • It is illegal to kill a bat. Not even an exterminator can kill a bat as many bats are endangered.
  • There are many myths about bats. For example bats do not attack people and they do not get caught in your hair.
  • Many bats in the northeast are dying from a disease known as white nose syndrome. A white fungus that grows on the nose and wings of bats.

The kids played a trivia game to see how much they knew about bats. The group was broken into two teams and each team had to come up with a name. The team Justin and Kaden were on named themselves The Rabies Spreaders and the other team decided on Kind Monsters. Notice myths going on with their choice of names! lol!

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After Trivia we headed outside to learn how bats use echolocation~the use of sound waves and echoes to find prey.

We played a game where one student was blindfolded and was the bat. The other student was the bug. The rest of the group formed a circle and held hands to keep the bat and bug in close proximity to each other. The bat would call out “bat” and the bug would reply “bug” and the bat would try to find the bat by sound. It was a very fun game!

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Justin had a very difficult time trying to catch his bug, Kaden!

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We also met our new educator Allie (above in the blue shirt/black jacket) that will be taking over for Kaitlin this month. After our game we headed around the building to see the bat house that the institute put up to attract bats. We were given  directions to make our own bat house which we want to make in the spring!

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You can build your own bat house. There are tons of directions online. Here is one set of plans.

You can learn more about bats here and here.

Homeschool Share has a fun unit for the youngers on the book Stellaluna  

 

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